LEED vs. Green Globes: What's the Difference? Video, 54 minutes

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Green Globes has a new leader and powerful industry backers. But is it truly “better, faster, cheaper”—or none of the above? We match it up point-by-point with LEED in this special members-only event.

LEED has 37 times more certified projects than Green Globes. LEED recently clocked three billion square feet of space while Green Globes is barely a blip. LEED has close to 200,000 accredited professionals; Green Globes less than 1,000.

But despite all that, interest in Green Globes is at an all-time high, fueled in part by frustration at perceived costs and complications of LEED.

Does Green Globes offer a viable alternative, or is it—as critics have argued—a particularly insidious form of greenwash?

Announcing BuildingGreen’s definitive analysis

As the level of interest, debate, dialogue, and backroom lobbying has increased in pitch through 2014, BuildingGreen’s editors have worked feverishly to bring to our members a definitive analysis of LEED and Green Globes.

In this webcast, we’ll provide the 30,000-foot summary of our painstaking review.

Cost, market perception, and technical rigor

Among the topics we’ll cover

  • Which rating system costs more? The surprising answer—and why.
  • Does the onsite assessment in Green Globes add rigor? We share firsthand perspectives.
  • What’s better for the environment? Are there any real differences, or is it all about cost and branding?
  • Is Green Globes actually ANSI-approved, as we hear all the time from its promoters?
  • Can you really walk into a Green Globes building with a lit cigarette? The contrasting approaches of LEED and Green Globes on prerequisites.
  • Just how easy is it to pass the Green Globes Professional (GGP) exam?
  • Who’s a better corporate citizen? Green Globes’ GBI, or USGBC and its LEED rating system?

If your clients haven’t asked you about Green Globes yet… they will. Are you ready?

Our webcast includes insights from practitioners who have done both LEED and Green Globes. We share their surprisingly frank insights into what drives client interest in each system, what they cost, how they perform, and even how many hours they take.


Tristan Roberts is editorial director for BuildingGreen, publishers of LEEDuser as well as Environmental Building News, GreenSpec, and BuildingGreen.com.

As the main voice behind LEEDuser.com, which provides how-to resources for LEED certification teams, he is known for fielding all manner of LEED questions on LEEDuser's popular forums, and covering the evolution of LEED v4 as it has progressed step by step through USGBC's development process. In writing this report, he also became a Green Globes Professional (GGP)—exam tips, anyone?

Paula Melton is Managing Editor at BuildingGreen, where she writes mainly for Environmental Building News, including authoring feature articles, blog posts, and product reviews on a variety of sustainable design topics, including LEED and other green building rating systems. She was also the lead developer of the company's recent white papers on LEED version 4 and on toxic chemicals in building products.

With an MFA in creative writing and a background in both journalism and socially responsible marketing, she has been researching and writing about health and sustainability for more than 15 years.